Day: March 17, 2020

States strategize to protect voters as COVID-19 changes some primary plans – TechCrunch

This week brings another batch of Democratic primaries, this time in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. But a lot has changed since Super Tuesday. Lately, a lot changes every hour.

In a joint statement last Friday, top election officials from the four states with a primary scheduled on March 17 addressed concerns about COVID-19.

“Americans have participated in elections during challenging times in the past, and based on the best information we have from public health officials, we are confident that voters in our states can safely and securely cast their ballots in this election, and that otherwise healthy poll workers can and should carry out their patriotic duties on Tuesday,” they wrote.

Three days after Ohio’s top election official reassured voters that the primaries would continue as planned, the state’s situation seemed to be in flux. On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine supported an eleventh hour lawsuit to push

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HashiCorp soars above $5B valuation in new $175M venture round – TechCrunch

The rise of the cloud over the past decade has forced software developers and DevOps engineers to completely rearchitect the modern web application, ensuring scalability, performance, and security. That’s a really painful proposition when done manually, which is where HashiCorp comes in to play. The company’s suite of products helps everyone in the tech workforce from IT admins to software developers operate in the cloud (mostly) effortlessly and natively.

The company’s products have long garnered rave reviews from technical staffs, and now the company is looking at a brand new massive valuation.

The SF-based startup announced today that it has raised $175 million in Series E financing from Franklin Templeton Investments at a scorching $5.1 billion valuation. For context, when we last covered the company back in late 2018, its valuation was only a “paltry” $1.9 billion following a $100 million round led by growth investor IVP.

The company

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YC CEO Michael Seibel opens up about his accelerator’s first online-only Demo Day – TechCrunch

Y Combinator’s Demo Day has historically drawn crowds of investors and journalists into a big warehouse to watch hundreds of startups come out to the public for the first time ever. Think two minute pitches, a big audience, and tons of networking opportunities after. 

This year, citing COVID-19 concerns, the accelerator canceled its in-person Demo Day and moved it to online-only, a week earlier than expected. You need to be pre-approved to access the list of companies, and more than 1,200 investors RSVPd. 

So while there won’t be the usual flurry of live tweets and on the ground reporting, TechCrunch caught up with YC CEO Michael Seibel to go the behind-the-scenes on this year’s batch, nonetheless. It’s Seibel’s second equity appearance, so we skipped the housekeeping and got right into the good stuff.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 07: Y Combinator Partner Michael Seibel speaks onstage during Day

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TransferWise partners with Alipay for international money transfers – TechCrunch

TransferWise, the London-headquartered international money transfer service most recently valued by investors at $3.5 billion, has partnered with China’s Aliplay for international transfers.

The launch enables TransferWise’s now 7 million-plus users to be able to send Chinese yuan from 17 currencies to users of Alipay, which serves more than 1.2 billion people worldwide including via its local e-wallet partners.

Promising “instant” money transfers — under 20 seconds, apparently — TransferWise users simply need the recipient’s name and Alipay ID to initiate a money transfer. The money will then be sent to the bank account linked to the recipient’s Alipay profile.

It could be a potentially smart bit of business by TransferWise, which has sometimes struggled to secure the kind of partnerships that can accelerate its customer base and increase transaction volume. According to a 2019 report, the fintech is citing, China is projected to be one of the top

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Here’s Hollywood’s big chance to embrace the streaming future

Commentary: With the coronavirus pandemic affecting so many people, maybe it’s time to find new ways to entertain us.

Image: simpson33, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The novel coronavirus outbreak may prompt some changes to decades-old approaches to entertainment and more. With no end in sight to the need for social distancing, we may soon be going just a bit stir crazy, in need of something to take our minds off the stress of COVID-19.

Which is why The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout may be onto something. In a recent article, Teachout, the Journal’s theater critic, suggested that with Broadway shut down, “[T]here is a way for the show to go on without putting the public at risk. That way is online live streaming.” Historically Broadway, along with Hollywood, has kept to its tried-and-true business models, no matter the technological advances. But, just as the music industry learned to

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How open source might prove helpful during the coronavirus pandemic

Commentary: As bad as things may get due to COVID-19, open source just might make life a little better, at least regarding an economic downturn and possible recession.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Over the last few weeks, there’s been plenty of bad news. The way things are looking with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re in for even more bad news over the coming weeks and, likely, months. In a time when people’s health is at risk, money doesn’t matter much. Even so, economists are starting to utter the “R” word, as consumers and businesses delay spending amidst novel coronavirus uncertainty, which will, in turn, create even more hardship.

One bright spot is that more organizations will turn to open source as they seek to do more with less, which was the case from 2007 to 2008 during the Great Recession, as well as during the dot-com bust of 2000

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